When you think of book subscription services, if you think about them, you probably think of Oyster first, regardless of the fact that Scribd offers nearly the same service. This morning, Scribd finally gave us a reason they might pull ahead in the race to be the “Netflix for Books.”
Scribd has added 30,000 audio books to their book subscription service. Considering both leading book subscription companies have partnerships with Simon & Schuster and HarperCollins, this is the first major play to put Scribd squarely ahead of Oyster in terms of offerings.
It’s a little tough to figure out what Scribd exactly is. They started as a publishing platform for users to upload literature, legal documents, academic papers, or any other user generated content. Last year, they added in their book subscription service, bundled with their user generated material.
Now that they’ve added audiobooks, it seems Scribd is more and more chimeric with each new service. But Scribd CEO Trip Adler told Betabeat he knows exactly what he’s building.
“It’s not just more services,” Mr. Adler said. “It’s the library of the future, one subscription.”
Mr. Adler remembers a conversation that he had with Facebook’s founding leadership about when Facebook opened their services up beyond the college crowd.
“It took time for consumer opinion to shift,” Mr. Adler said. “It takes a while for people to understand a new direction.”
We’re skeptical of the idea that the same consumer who is an avid Kindle reader is the same person spending their excess cash at Audible for audio books, but Mr. Adler thinks it’s an obvious pairing. At least now, when someone asks us what the best book subscription service is, we’ll hesitate to give a single, obvious answer.